Granada Trustees Approve New Fire Truck, Discuss Truck Parking Ordinance

Granada is getting a new fire truck.  The town board voted to purchase a 1987 model from Washington State to replace the 1964 model currently in use.  Ricky Silva informed trustee members he had found a model priced at $8,000 that had around 54,000 miles of use.  It will cost an additional $2,500 to get the vehicle shipped to Granada.  The board had $12,000 in the 2012 budget for a replacement fire truck.  Silva said the old model will probably just be junked as it cannot be repaired. 

Granada will also be getting a new set of trustees next month.  An election will be held April 3 to determine a new mayor and four trustee positions which are currently open.  Town board secretary, Jackie Malone said she needs to authenticate the interested parties as eligible to receive votes.  Two persons are interested in the Mayor’s seat, being vacated by current Mayor Leslie Baca and there are five candidates for four Trustee seats.  Deb Choat and Martin Jensen will run for re-election.  Of the five candidates, the four receiving the most votes will become Trustees. 

Ark Valley Internet was given permission to install a short broadcast antenna on the town’s water tower.  The company will pay $600 a year for rental space.  The internet provider was one of two businesses interested in using the tower, as mentioned in last month’s meeting, but Atmos Energy was only exploring sites at that point. 

Granada Trustees will search town records, and John Hopper of the Amache Preservation Society, will search out records regarding insurance coverage and a lease agreement and easement for Camp Amache.  The Friends of Amache were also given a lease from the town in 2008 for management of the historical landmark in Granada.  Hopper said Denver University is sending down students this summer for a field school, and he has been working on funding sources to recreate a portion of Camp Amache as it was during the early 1940s, serving as an internment camp for close to 7,000 Japanese descendents during World War II.  Several hundred tourists and relatives of those who once lived in Camp Amache visit the site each summer. 

The trustees passed on first reading a revised ordinance prohibiting fully-loaded, heavy-duty trucks from parking on paved streets in Granada.  The weight of the vehicles is causing the pavement to fracture and crumble, resulting in costly repairs for the town.  Resident Wanda Schibblehut protested the ordinance, claiming truck driving is one of the few decent paying jobs people have in the community and the ordinance will penalize them when they’re trying to earn a living.  The police and trustees explained that they aren’t trying to put people out of jobs, but an ordinance is needed to help prevent the parking situation.   

Police officer Daniel Gorton has signed up a over a dozen students from grade 8 to seniors, who would join a police Explorers Group, taught by him.  The department is waiting to see if a grant, which pays Gorton’s salary will be renewed.  Funding for the Explorer’s program was also included in the application.  Gorton will attend an Emergency Services Career Fair at Red Rocks Community College next month.  He will use one of the town patrol cars to attend, but will also have some repair work done on the vehicle while there.  The town held off on a decision to purchase a Stalker Lidar laser radar system for speeding motorists.  The department said they can only chart speeders coming and going in a direct line of sight.  The new unit will allow the police to park almost anywhere to get a court-enforceable reading of speeders in Granada.  The trustees wanted to know if the increase in ticket fees would offset the purchase price.  The department issued 42 citations between November 2011 and March 2012 with a face value of $7,214.75. 

In light of lack of raises for municipal employees, the trustees voted to absorb the 8% health insurance premium increase on the new insurance policy.  The difference is about $40 per month, per employee.  The trustees said the town will pay the utility light bills for use of the gym and ball fields instead of the Granada Recreation Department. The city’s water supply system passed a quality test, but a review will be taken to find out how many businesses have a cross-connect water line which might cause some future contamination.  The trustees decided to put out the summer park maintenance program for bids.  Trustee DeBono told the board that there are two beaver dams along the levees that need to come down.  The Army Corps of Engineers notified the town last year that the levee system needs to be improved to maintain a better insurance status.  That project will go out to bid as well.  The town will begin last minute clean-up/spruce-up projects on the old museum, in anticipation of tourist information kiosks being set up for the spring and summer season.  The city complex has been rented for several future events, on March 25, April 21, April 30 and May 26.  The next trustee meeting will be held April 11 at which time the new trustees will be sworn in following the election.

By Russ Baldwin

(Editor’s Note…the correct date for swearing in new Trustees will be April 11.  The earlier article had April 4 as the designated date).


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